To My Weary Traveler

ROAD WORK AHEAD: "To My Weary Traveler"
ROAD WORK AHEAD: “To My Weary Traveler” in American Sign Language

Soothe your eyes upon my lit windows late at night;
you’ve traveled enough all those years on the road.
The silence of the speedometer is hell.
Come on in, my dear traveler;
unravel in my fat chair like a river whose dam is breaking.
Your face is a map, an emotional suitcase;
hot chocolate should loosen you more.
Please. Do not act surprised or amazed.
It is you I have been waiting for.

My house’s taken on such a happy glow since you arrived.
More? Swell. Here you go.
Unravel the tales you’ve wanted to tell but never could.
So you have no lover?
Please. Do tell me where you were, or his memory you cannot erase…
So he laughed when you’d offer a case of champagne and that something more?
No. No matter how you’ve lost face,
it is you I have been waiting for.

The kerosene lamp flickers and flows with each booming laugh of your belly.
I want to hear all the jokes you know.
And listen: that’s the church bell ringing twelve times across the river.
That’s a reminder for fated lovers to caress each other’s bodies and faces one more time before they deflate into a pair of hands married for more.
I stroke lightly your wrinkled face.
It is you I have been waiting for.

I once loved someone years ago,
but he left me standing here.
Well. He was always the one for the road.
Here’s your room, and your towels.
Do not try dreaming of your ex-lover;
sleep sweetly this night like no other as you wipe his kisses from your face.
Allow my pillows to rest their case.
I turn out lamps, one after another,
while I meditate on your peaceful face.
It is you I have been waiting for.

Please do stay here for another day.
Allow me to draw a new map, a new slate,
while my tea kettle sits ready to pour.
And do bring in all your suitcases.
It is you I have been waiting for.

A journey you’ll never forget.


In his fourth poetry collection Road Work Ahead, Raymond Luczak sets out on a turbulent journey after ending a 15-year relationship. As he meets kindred souls on his travels, Luczak wonders what it means to love again. He opens the suitcase of his heart in far-flung cities and points beyond. His poems, pungent with musk and ache, will open yours too.


The black-and-white photograph shows a grassy road through a sparse forest. Above the road is a transparent square with a bright orange border tilted to the side. The text on top of the square says ROAD WORK AHEAD. Below the "sign" are the text in white and orange: poems | RAYMOND LUCZAK.

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